Celtic captain Scott Brown has accused Kilmarnock midfielder Alan Power of “losing the plot” and “picking on” Jeremie Frimpong after a challenge which saw the teenage right-back stretchered off at Rugby Park on Wednesday night.
Power wasn’t cautioned by referee Don Robertson for the foul which Brown claimed would have been a straight red had he committed it.
The extent of Frimpong’s injury was still being assessed by Celtic’s medical staff yesterday amid hopes that the 19-year-old – outstanding since breaking into the first team this season –does not face a significant spell out.
Brown also condemned the lack of concern Power showed for Frimpong and said the incident was worthy of greater scrutiny than Leigh Griffiths’ reaction to abuse from Kilmarnock fans after the Celtic striker was substituted during the champions’ 3-1 win.
Brown said: “If that’s me making that challenge, I’m off. Everyone would be surrounding the ref trying to get me sent off.
“I’ve seen it back again and his [Power’s] feet are off the ground. To be fair, he wins the ball. But I went to the Scottish FA meeting about this earlier in the season and that challenge was reckless, there was pace in it and both feet are off the ground. So that’s three out of three [when it comes to whether it was a red card]. He [Power] has hit all three of those things on the head.
“Five or six years ago, you might get away with it and it would have been a great tackle, but the game has changed.
“You don’t want to see tackles like that and players getting injured, especially someone picking on a young lad like that.
“The law is there to protect the players. I thought it was a red card at the time, and looking back, for me, it’s 100 per cent a red card.
“If it was me, I’d expect to be sent off for that. If I lunged in recklessly, then I know what I’m doing. “You are getting beat 3-1. You’ve lost the plot and you are going to try and either smash somebody or try to get the lads going.
“It happens now and then, you lose the head. I think you can see he [Power] has lost the head. He’s done it and then he’s walked away from everyone thinking ‘Oh no, what have I done here?’
“You don’t want to see that tackle and you would hope he came back and made sure everything was alright but I don’t think he even walked up to check on Jeremie or anything.”
It remains to be seen whether the incident involving Griffiths, who threw tape from his socks in the direction of Kilmarnock fans, attracts the attention of the Scottish FA’s compliance officer.
Brown insists it is not worthy of action and feels the last thing Scottish football needs, following the aftermath to the Old Firm game in December, is more retrospective disciplinary sanctions.
“I’ve not watched it back yet but I’ve heard there’s nothing in it with Griff,” said Brown. “I think a lot more has happened in the past five or six weeks than that.
“We just need to move on and not worry too much about what’s been happening in the past or keep going to the SFA hoping they are going to do something.
“We just want it to be settled and set in stone so we know what happens and so that there is consistency all through the season.
“We don’t know the rules anymore. I’ve given up. If you get a red card, you could miss games, you could play on, who knows?”
Griffiths celebrated his goal against Kilmarnock, his second in successive games, by gesturing towards Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd, who recently raised doubts over the 29-year-old’s future at Celtic, on the TV studio gantry at Rugby Park.
“Griff knows some people love him and there are other people who don’t like him as much,” added Brown.
“He thrives off both sides of it. That’s how he goes and scores goals. When people write him off, he comes back and scores again.
“That’s what good footballers do, they thrive off both the positivity or the negativity. You can either go one way or the other.
“You can down tools and soon be out of the building. Or you can go again, score more goals, and keep going.
“The thing about Griff is that you know when he gets in that box – or even from 25 yards out – there’s a good chance the ball will be going in the net. That’s why we need the wee man as fit as he can possibly be.
“He needs to make sure he does everything right between now and the end of the season to make sure he stays in the team. He needs to work as hard as he possibly can in training like everyone else does.
“He’s been in a good place off the field for ages now. He just has to maintain the levels needed to produce week in, week out.”